By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
It’s been a different kind of summer for the McNary basketball programs.
The boys graduated all five starters so head coach Ryan Kirch is looking to see who is going to fill their shoes.
“You try to figure out who is going to fill what roles and be in different spots,” Kirch said. “It’s always exciting to see who is able to step up and who is able to play new roles.”
The girls have a new head coach in Elizabeth Doran.
“I’m getting to know players and how to coach them,” Doran said. “It’s learning for everybody and this will be a huge advantage going into next season that I got a chance to work with the girls.”
Doran said her first impressions of the team have been nothing but positive.
“I love coaching this group,” Doran said. “They’re extremely responsive to coaching. There’s a ton of parent support, too, which is awesome. They’re willing to work, open to new ideas. It’s a great group.”
Doran just wants more of them. Around 20 have participated in practices and games during the summer but she knows of at least five others that are busy playing other sports.
“We need to get more girls out because I definitely want to have three full teams and build up the program,” Doran said. “I hate to make cuts but it would be great to have enough girls out.”
The Lady Celts went to weekend tournaments at Willamette High School in Eugene as well as Forest Grove and Newberg. They also scrimmaged during the week at North Salem, Lebanon and Salem Academy.
The girls then went to team camp at Oregon State University June 26-29.
McNary’s boys also spent the month of June competing, playing 23 games at tournaments at Willamette, McMinnville and Forest Grove.
“We use it to evaluate and by the end of the summer have a pretty good idea and feel of what we can and cannot do and really what we’ll need to focus our structure for in the fall to get ready for the season,” Kirch said.
About 20 kids have played between the varsity and junior varsity squads and another 15-20 have participated in the freshmen training camp.
While rising seniors Chandler Cavell, Lucas Garvey and Andrew Jones have led the way, Kirch has also been impressed with the group of juniors.
“Griffin Oliveira has really done a great job,” Kirch said. “We’re really impressed with how he’s stepped up and led our group. He’s really competed well and Noah Hudkins has really stepped up to be a consistent inside scorer for us.”
Boston Smith, another incoming junior, has also stepped up in the post.
Cavell scored about 30 points per game for the Celtics this summer.
“He’s played under more control, passing the ball really well, rebounding really well and defending well, which is the biggest thing for him,” Kirch said. “We’re excited. He’s a top five player in the league. Lucas has great experience and can really guard and shoot it. We kind of fill everything in around the two of those guys. We’ve got nine or 10 guys who’ve had some experience over the summer that we feel comfortable with.”
McNary goes to team camp at the University of Oregon June 30-July 2.
“Our kids really love it,” Kirch said. “It’s a good opportunity. We know their staff really well. You see teams from Washington, California and Idaho that you haven’t seen during regular summer league. We stay in the dorms. It’s always a great way to finish the summer season and allow kids to have a little bit of a break after that.”